Is it time for feminists to step off our hobby?

mecegirl

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Guerilla said:
mecegirl said:
Did you not hear what happened to Remember me? Or what about Bioshock and the publishers putting Elizabeth on the back of the box. Or about how developers for the Last of us had to demand both female focus testers and to put Ellie on the front of the box?
I think you're confusing creative freedom with marketing decisions. I don't give a crap about what marketing does to ads or covers but there's certainly a reason for it and it's because core gamers are mainly male. As for Remember me, it was disaster both critically and commercially so I think publishers had WAY more than one reason for rejecting it. I seriously doubt this was even one.
I think you completely missed the point of the first post that you quoted from me. You not giving a crap does not change the reality. Do you really think none of that has anything to do with the games that publishers choose to publish? If they don't feel that they can market it why would they give money to its development? You just brought up the idea that "core gamers are mainly male". Which seems to be what publishers believe, which is why I said, and I quote.

The reality is probably a lot closer to publishers choosing to only fund games that already are, or can easily be tweaked to become, what they believe will sell. So if artistic integrity has anything to do with it we are only seeing a percentage of what the developers want to create.
Any developer with an idea that publishers don't think they can make money with we don't see. And that limits the creativity that we can see from developers within what you call core games (or more accurately AAA titles). Which is probably why there is such a wide range of protagonists and genres within Indy titles. They don't have to worry about pitching the type of game that publishers think will sell. They can create whatever they want. Remember Me was an okay game. Not groundbreaking or completely broken, but just an okay game. We don't expect such games with male protagonists to be magical unicorns of a game, nor do we rag on those games when they flop. So I don't know why anyone expected it of Remember Me.
 

EternallyBored

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Jun 17, 2013
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cthulhuspawn82 said:
An honest question to the feminists, have you tried not being offended?
Considering that the gaming and offtopic forum is currently host to topics with people trying to take offense on behalf of all gamers over inane comments, topics that have been taking offense and trying to get Moviebob fired because he said mean things to them, posting of blacklists over commenters that are seen as too "SJW", and this very topic which was pretty much started on the OP taking ridiculous amounts of offense and hyperbole all over the place, I think you are asking that question to the wrong group.

Not that its a useful question either way, neither feminists or gamers are a hive mind, so telling people to control who takes offense to what is basically a useless expression that amounts to little more than a slightly more weaselly way to say, "why don't you all just shut up and go away".
 

VioletHero

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Sep 2, 2014
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To my fellow feminists out there, I want you to ask one simple thing to yourselves: Are the changes that you believe in positive?

I only ask this because at some point I lost focus and started seeing everything as sexist in one form or another. I had a paradigm shift where I realized that what I believed in was more inhibiting than something good for the industry.

Feminism should be about making things better for everyone. When it starts inhibiting people's creativity that is when we need to dial it back. I do think that mainstream gaming should be more inclusive and less straight white male centric. But that doesn't mean we should ban all depictions of women that don't conform to the set standards of feminism. Let people make what they want to make. Let them know that it is okay to make female characters with huge bouncing breasts, but also let them know that this isn't the ONLY kind of depiction of women we want.
 

Cronenberg1

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VioletHero said:
To my fellow feminists out there, I want you to ask one simple thing to yourselves: Are the changes that you believe in positive?

I only ask this because at some point I lost focus and started seeing everything as sexist in one form or another. I had a paradigm shift where I realized that what I believed in was more inhibiting than something good for the industry.

Feminism should be about making things better for everyone. When it starts inhibiting people's creativity that is when we need to dial it back. I do think that mainstream gaming should be more inclusive and less straight white male centric. But that doesn't mean we should ban all depictions of women that don't conform to the set standards of feminism. Let people make what they want to make. Let them know that it is okay to make female characters with huge bouncing breasts, but also let them know that this isn't the ONLY kind of depiction of women we want.
Yeah I'm pretty sure that's what most feminists want. It's just when the medium is filled with so many huge bouncing breasts it's hard not to sound like you're hating on all of it. The accusation that feminists want all breasts removed from games is a misconception often thrown at feminists and it's for the most part untrue.
 

Dakkagor

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cthulhuspawn82 said:
An honest question to the feminists, have you tried not being offended?
An Honest question to 'Gamers', have you tried not being so offensive?
 

runic knight

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Well, got to write something I am sure many people would be surprised to hear me say.

No, I don't think feminism should "step off" of our hobby or gaming. It is an ideological view a valid as others and if someone wants to make games based from it or even examine games through that lens, then that is merely adding to our overall gaming culture and is a good thing.

Now, what we need to "step off" of gaming is the manufacturing and manipulation of outrage and controversy for attack and deflection of criticism. So you know, the parasites that try to cling to gaming as a whole, blaming it for social ills and trying to leverage guilt and an ideal of moral righteousness to impact gaming based on their view. I think we know right away the sort of people I am talking about. You know, like Thomson and his anti-violence campaigns back in the 90's. Someone who would emotionally manipulate outrage and anger in order to spin it into a narrative to sell an idea that gamers are bad and that something needs to be one about it.

That sort of mentality is something gaming doesn't need.


Feminism though? Hell, bring more in it. I would love to see devs working to share that ideology within the context of a game or trying to perform a deconstruction of an existing game based on how it relates to feminism. Shame all we get now is the likes of Anita.
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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cthulhuspawn82 said:
An honest question to the feminists, have you tried not being offended?
Have you?

Honestly, look at the forums these days, do you see more upset feminists or people upset ABOUT feminists?

I think some people are finally starting to realise that they can't just shout over these conversations, and that upsets them.
Hell, I've had people argue with me that `the minority shouldn't be listened to`.

What exactly do you think you are going to lose?

Either way, I can't help but see the funny side when all these threads are around. We're clearly not the offended ones any more.
 

carnex

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psijac said:
http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/

7 out of the top ten draw their source material from geekdom. Avatar had a anti-corporation/pro-green message. Black Widow is the Sarkisian definition of "Fighting Fuck toy" It's not about playing games, anyone with opposable thumbs can play a video game. Its about pushing forth an agenda. Control the culture, control the message.
As much as I dislike feminism, and there is a LOT to objectively dislike about feminism, I wasn't talking about that this time. What you wrote has nothing to do with diving into the nerd culture. I, for one, have no love for superhero comics. Vast majority of those that I tried to read caused me just to notice how damn moronic every character in it is. But I still enjoyed Avengers, Iron man 3, Captain America, Batman movies etc as big dumb action movies. You don't need to obsess about those characters to enjoy spectacle.
 

Maximum Bert

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Feb 3, 2013
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I dont believe in politicising a creative medium no matter what it is so in that respect they should back the hell off. If someone wants to politicise their game or be politically correct (lol) then they should be able to if someone dosent want to then they should be able to.

Let the people who design games do what they want with them whether it goes to or against what you like putting restrictions on creativity no matter how apparently slight is a bad idea period.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Maximum Bert said:
I dont believe in politicising a creative medium no matter what it is so in that respect they should back the hell off. If someone wants to politicise their game or be politically correct (lol) then they should be able to if someone dosent want to then they should be able to.

Let the people who design games do what they want with them whether it goes to or against what you like putting restrictions on creativity no matter how apparently slight is a bad idea period.
So when did someone ever talk about putting restrictions on games? Seriously, this is the biggest common mistake I see in the anti-feminist camp. We've never wanted to restrict, forbid or deny anything. What we want is for gamer developers to put some extra effort into their representation of women in their games. We are quite literally asking the developers to make games we would like to play.

Essentially, what we are doing is asking developers to include or remove features in their games. Just like the people who wanted bunny hopping out of CS, the people who wanted ships in Wargame, the people who wanted more customization options in the sims etc.. How come "We want to see more women in your stories?" is more controversial than "I want you to include prestige class x in the next D&D RPG?" or "I want to see Captain America in the next Capcom vs Marvel?"
 

tyriless

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Maximum Bert said:
I dont believe in politicising a creative medium no matter what it is so in that respect they should back the hell off. If someone wants to politicise their game or be politically correct (lol) then they should be able to if someone dosent want to then they should be able to.

Let the people who design games do what they want with them whether it goes to or against what you like putting restrictions on creativity no matter how apparently slight is a bad idea period.
Does all criticism totally stifle creativity? Or is it when it's about something you don't agree with? Should games be criticized at all? What about games that use racial stereotypes? Are blatantly homophobic? Depict all white males as sexist and racist hicks? Is there a line should be drawn or is everything open? What about godawful writing, that talks down to you like you were ten years old or an ending that fails to tie up any plot points? Those are creative endeavors, but now I can't tell them they suck?

This isn't about politics. This is about criticism. This is obviously criticism you don't agree with -whether a female character is well written, or the attitudes shown by a developer to a gender or race are, at the least, misguided- but it has it's place right along with the complaints about the Mass Effect 3 ending and how Bioshock Infinite felt more like a theme park and less like an actual interactive environment. I want a better story, with better protagonists, and better NPCs. Even more, I want to see more gamers of different races, age groups, and of both genders feel included and welcome to my hobby. A game that get's played with my loved ones and friends is one I can share, discuss, or even play multiplayer with. Those games I tend to replay and enjoy so much more than ones I've only played until I beat it, and then left it behind forever. So I tend to ask more from the developers, to write and design with a more inclusive (not exclusive) mindset. Don't just pander to 15-22 male demographic, because, I am not a teenage boy and I still love to game. I can appreciate tits in my face like the next heteromale, but I can appreciate a game both my wife and I enjoy playing more.
 

tyriless

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Gethsemani said:
Maximum Bert said:
\

So when did someone ever talk about putting restrictions on games? Seriously, this is the biggest common mistake I see in the anti-feminist camp. We've never wanted to restrict, forbid or deny anything. What we want is for gamer developers to put some extra effort into their representation of women in their games. We are quite literally asking the developers to make games we would like to play.

Essentially, what we are doing is asking developers to include or remove features in their games. Just like the people who wanted bunny hopping out of CS, the people who wanted ships in Wargame, the people who wanted more customization options in the sims etc.. How come "We want to see more women in your stories?" is more controversial than "I want you to include prestige class x in the next D&D RPG?" or "I want to see Captain America in the next Capcom vs Marvel?"
Oh man, can we get the new Captain Marvel, voiced by Jennifer Hale? I would shell out a preorder just for that!

In all seriousness, I wish I saw this post before I wrote mine, because it sums my thoughts on the subject pretty well.
 

carnex

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tyriless said:
Art is to be criticized. Also, art is to contain anything artist wants to put in it. Homophobia? Check! Rape? Yep! Mass Extintions? You bet! Torture? But of course! Should we love it? Hell no, it's there most probable to cause us discomfort in the first place. Should you lie down and accept it? Well, this is where two schools we see on this forum get on their separate ways.

Both subscribe that you are n your right to point out that you are against those things in your medium, that they cause you discomfort etc.

But one stops at that while other goes further, into shaming, namecalling etc. Obviously I subscribe to more tolerant school of thought.

Other than that, vast majority of gamers would love to see more things, more diversity, innovations, new ideas, new angles etc.

Lets not create our own "Hay's code". Is that so bad to ask?
 

Guerilla

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I see Adonis was banned for being rude to people again but I hope he's seeing this.

AdonistheDark said:
I know, that's why I said it pandered to them. Come on, keep up. You're so eager to go "Aha!" that you're missing my point.
Yes, you said it pandered to them and I said there's nothing wrong with that pandering or games being "cute pink shit". Apparently though that's a problem for you for whatever reason so you probably think that puzzle games are being sexist.

Ignoring that a like for "dark themes" wouldn't be considered in gendered terms by most, and that you're taking umbrage with capital-C political Conservatism when I mean little-c general conservatism (trying to conserve)... no, don't ignore any of that.

I don't have a problem with male sexuality. I have a problem when it bleeds into pop culture needlessly, especially with the advent of internet porn. I can keep those two instincts (for entertainment and titillation) separate enough, and I don't want serious media watered down by adolescent pandering. All this distinct from any gender politics. Kind of like how you're so "against the common denominator". Only, to you, "Tee hee hee boobies!" is somehow highbrow and worth defending so vehemently.

I feel you're the one selling men short by insisting men aren't interested enough in silly things like core game mechanics and narrative without the push of "Tee hee hee boobies!"
And it seems that you really have a real problem with human sexuality and you did nothing to disprove that. Sexuality bleeding to pop culture? There's a problem with that now? You really sound exactly like conservatives do, you know that right?


Your view of sexuality is no more nuanced than string bikinis and banana hammocks? Considering the full spectrum of sexuality and how it can be depicted and expressed, you find it fair and reasonable to present the ridiculous example of banana hammocks and S&M/bondage I provided under the blanket banner of "expressing sexuality"? No more charged or intrusive than an other expression of sexuality. All this while insisting there's a need not to pander to the lowest common denominator as an ideal because... reasons?
My view of sexuality INCLUDES string bikinis and banana hammocks, it's not limited to that. There's abslolutely nothing wrong with people being completely open with their sexuality even if it "bleeds" to pop-culture. Your views seems antiquated and prude.



You express that so categorically despite not knowing what I'm referring to and to what extent. If you think I'm saying "All games are sexist" or even "Most games are sexist", you're wrong, so nice straw man.

I said "it depends" and "maybe", implicitly asking for more context to judge on a case-by-case basis, and that's the attitude I approach sexism in games with. If that's too radical for you, we'll just have to agree to disagree because, let's face it, who has ever admitted they were wrong on the internet?
Yes, I express that categorically and you've done nothing this far to prove otherwise.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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...have come under fire for being "sexist", and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
Ah, found the problem.

See, the fact that people like yourself can't "for the life of them" figure out why certain things might be sexist? That's exactly why there is so much discussion about it. It's a real issue, and it really happens. And while there are still so many people who can say, "I don't see what the problem is," there's an obligation to continue pointing out the problem.

Not to equate the two topics, but rather to draw a parallel between the thought process now and an era ago:

There were seriously people who thought that "separate but equal" laws were a solution to the problem of racism. "What, we gave you your own stuff, what's the big deal? Geez, do we have to keep hearing about how it's not really equal, and the only people who think it is are the people with the better end of things? Can't these people just shut up and leave "us" to "our" society?"

Again, and let's be very clear, I'm not equating "sexism in videogames" with "racism in mid-20th century America." I'm drawing a parallel between the way people thought about problems that affected another group more than themselves, about which they were tired of hearing discussion. The fact that you want to close discussion before any lasting change has been made? That's exactly why discussion needs to be forced to continue.
 

Guerilla

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Dastardly said:
...have come under fire for being "sexist", and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
Ah, found the problem.

See, the fact that people like yourself can't "for the life of them" figure out why certain things might be sexist? That's exactly why there is so much discussion about it. It's a real issue, and it really happens. And while there are still so many people who can say, "I don't see what the problem is," there's an obligation to continue pointing out the problem.

Not to equate the two topics, but rather to draw a parallel between the thought process now and an era ago:

There were seriously people who thought that "separate but equal" laws were a solution to the problem of racism. "What, we gave you your own stuff, what's the big deal? Geez, do we have to keep hearing about how it's not really equal, and the only people who think it is are the people with the better end of things? Can't these people just shut up and leave "us" to "our" society?"

Again, and let's be very clear, I'm not equating "sexism in videogames" with "racism in mid-20th century America." I'm drawing a parallel between the way people thought about problems that affected another group more than themselves, about which they were tired of hearing discussion. The fact that you want to close discussion before any lasting change has been made? That's exactly why discussion needs to be forced to continue.
You're "not equating" the two but you really do. Because if you use segregation as an example of how most gamers ignore constant feminist complaining about a female character in a bikini (which is only proof of sexual repression within the feminist community and not an indication of sexism), what you're basically saying is that this problem is as obvious and big as segregation which also some people couldn't see why it's a problem. Which is, oh God, so wrong yet so funny.
 

Starbird

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Mandalore_15 said:
I'm going to assume everyone reading this is aware of the so-called "Quinnspiracy" and other events of the last two weeks. The fact that the online community has become a shit-slinging bitching fest can't have escaped many people's notice. Whatever people's views of the behaviour on both sides, I actually want to sidestep all that and talk about games themselves.

Internet feminists' gradual creep into the games industry has surely not gone unnoticed. Now, some people approve of this, others do not: for my intents and purposes it doesn't really matter. What matters is whether or not this is going to start affecting the quality of the games we get in future. It seems to me that no matter how far we come in the depiction of female characters in games, it is never enough. Take The Last Of Us: for my money, this was one of the inclusive, all-round diverse games ever, with female characters oozing with personality and inner-strength. Ellie is perhaps one of the best written characters in any medium ever, regardless of gender.

So I was pretty surprised to find (as were Naughty Dog, apparently) that the game garnered a not-insignificant amount of criticism for being "sexist". This was discussed a lot at the time so I won't go into any more detail, but it seems to me that there are now so many manufactured controversies surrounding women in video games that there is no way to please the feminist camp. Recent games like the new Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite have come under fire for being "sexist", and I can't for the life of me figure out why. Such spurious claims do nothing but derail any kind of discussion of gender in games, and must frustrate developers attempts to create a more diverse game by making them either want to give up or try even harder to shoehorn diversity in there for the sake of it.

This raises an important question: should game developers capitulate to feminist demands for a more inclusive range of characters in their games? My immediate answer is a resounding NO. As a person who works in a creative role myself, I value artistic integrity and creative vision far more than any tenuous elements of fairness or inclusivity attached to a work. Creators should feel free to choose the characters that suit the story they want to tell, and not bow to any pressure to have a gender/race/sexuality/etc. quota in their cast list. The same goes for those characters' personalities: there ARE weak women in the world, just as there are strong women, and the same for men. Choosing characters that fit these roles in no way makes a broad statement about a gender as a whole, it's just a dramatic device. Can you imagine William Golding being told he had to include some female characters in Lord Of The Flies? It simply wouldn't work in the context of the story and world he was creating.

And while we might disagree with some creative decisions, ultimately it's the creator's work to do with what he will. Whether that work lives or dies in the court of public opinion is up to us. We can criticise it on its merits, but extrapolating that to making broad statements about the developer's worldview is totally speculative and ultimately fruitless, particularly when they give us more inclusive games and receive just as much, if not more scrutiny.

So what do you guys think? Is there endemic sexism within the game industry and feminists complaints are valid, or is it a storm in a tea cup?


EDIT:

OK, so a lot of people have been jumping the gun somewhat with my use of the term "our hobby". By "our" that I mean all of us, the escapist community. It was not an attempt to depict the debate as "gamers vs. feminists" or anything like that, it was just a throwaway descriptor of what all of us here enjoy doing in our spare time, namely playing games.
Define 'step off'.

I don't agree with a lot of the stuff in Tropes. Some of it was just silly. But...it's a documentary coming from a certain ideological point of view. I don't have to agree with it.

That said, saying 'no, you aren't allowed to express an opinion that someone may disagree with' is just as silly.

So no. The only people that need to step off this are the extremists on both sides, especially the people who are trying to inflict real life harm on others for opinions stated online.